LGW - Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (HE, Dortmund) has filed for voluntary self-administration in the Düsseldorf District Court after Eurowings (EW, Düsseldorf Int'l) terminated a long-term wet-lease agreement covering all fifteen LGW-operated Dash 8-400s.

The regional ACMI/charter specialist ceased all operations on behalf of Eurowings as of March 24, 2020. All of its De Havilland Aircraft of Canada turboprops were subsequently ferried from Düsseldorf Int'l or Saarbrücken to Bratislava during April 8-18. They are all dry-leased from Nordic Aviation Capital and are 12 years old on average.

"After the termination of the cooperation by Eurowings, we made intensive efforts to deploy our aircraft throughout Europe and will continue to do so while under administration. Due to the virtual complete standstill of air traffic, these efforts have so far not been successful," Managing Director Dominik Wiehage said. "As it is also impossible to estimate whether we will receive public funding needed to tide us over until regular operations resume, particularly on regional routes served by LGW, we have therefore had to take this legally necessary step [of going into administration]."

Although the carrier will continue under its own management, attorney Dirk Andres has now been appointed provisional administrator alongside Michael Wilbert who joins as a managing director.

At the moment time of filing for voluntary administration, LGW employed 354 staff, including 294 crew members. LGW is owned by logistics specialist Zeitfracht Gruppe and is a sister airline of WDL Aviation (WH, Cologne/Bonn). Last year, both companies announced they would operate under the shared brand of German Airways (GER, Cologne/Bonn).

As a part of its restructuring, Lufthansa Group recently announced a review of all third-party wet-lease arrangements within the group.

"Eurowings - like all other passenger airlines in the Lufthansa Group - had to terminate all its wet-lease contracts in the wake of the Corona crisis, including the contract with LGW. The airline was a very reliable partner for us in domestic German traffic as well as for many destinations in Europe, and always performed flawlessly... The crisis is hitting the entire industry with such force that all airlines (even in the event of a recovery) will initially hardly be able to utilize their own capacities. We, therefore, see no employment opportunities for wet-lease partners in the foreseeable future," Eurowings said in a statement to ch-aviation.

Editorial Comment: Added Eurowings' statement. - 22.04.2020 - 15:19 UTC